The Z That Stands Tall


| May/June 1988



Fairbanks-Morse

12234 Harris, Carleton, Michigan, 48117

My interest in antique farm equipment started a couple of years ago. I had just finished putting up a windmill in the backyard. I thought it would be fun to find and restore a small stationary steam engine. I soon found out that they were not cheap and are hard to come by.

A co-worker and I were invited to an engine show in Ohio by his uncle and a friend. After that show, I think I was hooked. I wanted to have one of those old engines. Several months passed and I was cleaning up behind the garage. While taking a load of junk to the scrap yard, there on the side of the path sat an 1HC LB 1? 2? HP-not real old and certainly not rare. The next day I went back, bought it and took it home. But I really had my heart set on an engine with spoke flywheels and an open crankcase.

At that time I was borrowing GEM from a friend. Every month when the new one would arrive, he would call. I would go pick it up and go through the ads. There were a lot of engines I would have liked and they were priced right too, but they were all two or three states away-just too far to go in a weekend. I had gone to a couple of engine auctions without much luck.

I had talked to a lot of people at shows and they gave me some advice. For my first engine I should get one from a private owner where I could get the history of what type work it may need. If possible, get one that ran or close to it. Stay away from those with parts missing that may be hard to find or tough to make. I felt this was good advice for a newcomer to the hobby.

The summer was over and winter was here. The December '86 issue of GEM had just arrived. I went through it and found some engines for sale near Pontiac, Michigan-a couple of hours north from where I live. I called and set a time to see the engines.